I decided to try dyeing one of those pairs of shorts in indigo to make them a deeper, richer blue. The indigo dye obscured the varigated nature of the original fabric which was not the look I was after.
Since these shorts fit well + don't come in any other colors, I decided to sacrifice this pair of shorts in order to make a sewing pattern. Many sewists are able to make rub-offs of beloved pieces of clothing without taking them apart. I want a precise fit, however, and I find that the best way to achieve that is to have a precise pattern made up of the actual pieces of the garment (b).
I used the scraps from a pair of happy pants that I made a few years ago to make the first pair of shorts from this "pattern". I had to piece a couple of pieces together in order to make these shorts. The print camouflages this well enough for me (f). I didn't have enough fabric for the pockets + made them out of gingham fabric left over from another pair of pants (e). I used the elastic from the original shorts in these (b + c).
These shorts fit like a dream, have pockets (!), sewed up relatively quickly + feel like a zero-waste win! I'm looking forward to making a few more of these + think this whole progression is at least part of what slow fashion is all about...keeping a piece in use, keeping resources out of the landfill + being creative all the while.